The 2018 HR Technology Conference- Main Takeaways!

Last week, more than 5,000 HR executives and professionals traveled to Las Vegas to attend the 2018 HR Technology Conference. Several Mammoth team members joined them, with the goal of talking to tech industry analysts and identifying new industry trends and technology.

The overarching takeaway? The HR technology field continues to be crowded with single pain point solutions for HR professionals and their employees, with much less attention paid to strengthening and supporting the HR professional’s capabilities, skills, and needs.

In short, HR professionals have never had more tools at their disposal, but the gap between what the HR professional can do with those tools and what the HR professional has the time, experience, and expertise to do has never been greater.

Here are 5 other trends we observed:

Artificial Intelligence is the new “Cloud”

Like they did 5 years ago with the concept of a “cloud” based solution, HR technology companies are now heavily promoting their Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities. “AI” has wide-ranging meanings in the field, but in most instances was used to describe technology that uses data to deliver predictive insights to automate processes and help the customer get more out of the software platform.

All roads lead to Employee Engagement

According to Gallup, engagement among U.S. workers remains stuck at ~35%, and a fully engaged workforce would create $450 – $550 billion in value. The HR Tech world has taken notice. Whether it be employee survey benchmarking, employee recognition, performance management, applicant tracking, or even timekeeping, solutions from nearly every part of the HR ecosystem are positioning themselves as the vehicle to better employee engagement

Integrations remain the “wild west”

HR Technology applications continue to fill their feature gaps through integrated partnerships with complementary providers. But the mechanics for building those integrations remain fluid and largely without standards, leading to a lot of redundant effort and potential technical debt within the platforms.

Recruiting & hiring solutions continue to multiply

With unemployment rates at record lows, it was no surprise to see a multitude of recruiting, hiring, staffing, and onboarding solutions at this year’s show. With the increase in competition, these solutions are expanding their value proposition to customers. Research shows that new hires make up their minds about how long they will stay with a company in their first 30 days, so these solutions are expanding their value proposition to customers from simply finding and onboarding talent to retaining it.

Platforms are investing heavily in employee user experience

HR technology has never looked better. Companies continue to invest heavily in improving the employee experience in their platforms. While employers and HR professionals will reap some of the rewards, such as better platform utilization, better reporting, and some standardized design elements, an outstanding question is whether HR practitioners will be left with a somewhat lesser or fragmented experience, since the R&D is being funneled to the employee journey.

©2018 Mammoth

Trending Employment Laws in 2018

When a city or state passes a new kind of employment law or practice, you can expect other locations to follow their lead. We’ve seen this with paid sick leave, ban the box, social media privacy laws, and other legislation.

trending employment laws in 2018

This year will have its own trending employment laws and best practices. Here are a few to keep your eye on:

  • Sexual harassment prevention: With the public hearing every day about new harassment allegations, employers are looking for better ways to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Training is necessary and important—and sometimes required by law—but it’s only one preventative step. Accountability is also a must, as is a culture of trust so when harassment happens, victims know their reports will be addressed and the harassment will stop.
  • Bans on salary history inquiries: Oregon, Delaware, and California have salary history bans already in effect. New York City does as well. A ban in Massachusetts will go into effect in July of this year. These laws prohibit employers from inquiring about a candidate’s current or previous wages or salary. They’re intended to decrease pay disparity.
  • Predictive schedules: The cities of San Francisco, Emeryville, Seattle, and New York and the state of Oregon have predictive-scheduling requirements for certain employers in retail, food service, and hospitality. Likely more states and cities will soon follow their lead. These laws typically require employers to provide advance notice on schedules and limit the conditions in which an employer can make last-minute changes to the schedule.
  • Pregnancy accommodation expansions: Washington, Massachusetts, and the City of San Francisco have each passed mandatory pregnancy accommodation laws. These laws require that employers provide specific workplace accommodations, even if the employee isn’t suffering from a pregnancy-related disability.

 

Questions?

Payroll Experts 
7500 North Dobson Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Phone: 877.536.1907
Email: amatak@payrollexperts.com
Visit us online

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 The HR Support Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tips for Keeping Your Company Data Secure

Small businesses are a popular target of cyber criminals. Thousands of attacks happen every day, successful ones can cost organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars, and over half of small businesses soon close following a successful cyber-attack.

Fortunately, there are effective measures you can take to prevent hackers, scammers, and other ne’er-do-wells from compromising your network, stealing information, and harming your organization, employees, clients, or customers.

Tips for Keeping your Company data secure

Here are a few of our recommendations:

  • Protect your network with security software and keep this software up-to-date. A quality firewall is a must. As is encryption for your sensitive files.
  • Install quality antivirus and anti-malware software on all computers used for company purposes, and set up regular scans.
  • Back-up your databases on a regular basis. If your files are ever compromised, you don’t want to lose everything. Having a recent backup will enable you to restore your data so you can continue to operate.
  • Train employees on your internet safety and security policy and procedures, your security software, recognizing potential security threats, and creating strong passwords. Training also should include your response plan.
  • Regarding passwords, avoid dictionary words. Use multiple letters, numbers, and symbols. Phrases or long acronyms are especially hard to ascertain or break.
  • Note in your policy what security measures employees should follow when they’re out of the office and not using your firewall and secure network.
  • Be extremely cautious of unexpected emails that ask you to click a link to log into an account to update information or fix a problem. These are likely fake and designed to steal valuable information.
  • Never enter credit card numbers or other valuable information on a website that is not secure. If a website is secure, its URL will begin with HTTPS, instead of just HTTP. You should also double check that you’re on the site you intend to be on whenever entering such information.
  • Never, ever email sensitive employee information such as W-2s, benefit enrollment forms, completed census forms, or anything with social security or credit card numbers. Email databases and accounts are inherently insecure, and if malicious parties get access they can often see or get everything.
  • Scammers may also pose as company executives or employees to steal information. If you receive a request to email any such sensitive information, do not respond to it.
  • When getting rid of physical documents with sensitive information, use a secure shredding company to ensure proper disposal and that documents related to an employee’s identity are secure.
  • When getting rid of hardware or donating it, completely wipe its hard drives and storage. You don’t want someone finding an old company laptop, thumb drive, or computer and gaining access to information stored on it.

 

Questions?

Payroll Experts 
7500 North Dobson Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Phone: 877.536.1907
Email: amatak@payrollexperts.com
Visit us online

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 The HR Support Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

Why Paid Sick Leave is becoming more Popular

We’ve all seen it—one of our employees is sick—they have a bad cold, maybe even the flu, but they come to work anyway. In some cases, the employee has the option of taking time off, and you’d prefer they do so, but still they show up, putting everyone in the workplace at risk. The reasons vary. Sometimes the employee can’t afford the reduced hours. Sometimes they can take the financial hit, but they’re worried about falling behind on their projects, missing an important meeting, or looking bad next to their co-workers who never seem to take a day off.

Some employers encourage sick employees to stay home and rest. To that end, they offer paid sick or personal time so that employees who already feel lousy don’t have to suffer the stress of a smaller paycheck. While paid leave doesn’t work 100% to keep sick employees home, it helps.
Why paid sick leave is becoming more popular
In fact, more and more states have passed laws requiring it. In 2011, Connecticut became the first state to pass a paid sick leave law. Now, a total of ten states plus Washington D.C. require at least some employers to provide paid sick leave; these are Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. And many cities have their own, typically more generous ordinances.

The paid sick leave laws passed so far share some common elements. Employers are typically required to offer an hour of paid sick leave for a certain number of hours worked per week (usually 30 or 40). Every state-mandated paid sick leave law requires employees to be able to use paid sick leave to care for a family member, and most allow the time to be used in case of domestic or sexual violence. The laws vary most—though still not dramatically—with respect to which employees are eligible and when, and what kind of documentation can be required to prove that employees used the leave for a permissible purpose.

Currently, eighteen states have pending sick leave bills, but we don’t know how many, if any, will soon pass. If a paid sick leave law is enacted in your state, we recommend taking the following steps:

  • Review all leave policies for compliance. While these laws will generally allow you to keep a current policy as long as it is at least as generous as required by the state law, you will need to comply with the various notice and recordkeeping requirements as well.
  • Decide whether lumping vacation, personal, and sick leave together would be better for your organization and, if applicable, for which specific employee groups (you may want a lump sum policy for full-time employees and an hour-by-hour accrual system for part-timers).
  • Determine which employees work in places with paid sick leave laws and consider whether a one-size-fits-all policy or location-specific policies would be better.
  • Confirm that usage terms, accrual, coverage, carry-over, and any vesting rules meet minimum requirements.
  • Review the employee notice; the law may require a poster, written policy, notice on employee paystubs of time accrued, or all of those.
  • Update your handbook and distribute it to employees.

 

Questions?

Payroll Experts 
7500 North Dobson Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Phone: 877.536.1907
Email: amatak@payrollexperts.com
Visit us online

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 The HR Support Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

DOL Adopts New Unpaid Intern Test

The Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted a new test for unpaid interns. Employers should use this test—called the primary beneficiary test—when determining if a worker can be properly classified as an unpaid intern or if they need to be classified as an employee and paid minimum wage and overtime. The test adopted by the DOL has already been in use in four federal appellate courts, most recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOL’s switch to the primary beneficiary test creates a nationwide standard.

DOL adopts new unpaid intern test

Balancing v. All-or-Nothing

Previously, the DOL was using a six-question all-or-nothing test. An employer needed to be able to say “yes, the internship does that” to all six questions or else classify the worker as an employee. The new test is a balancing (or factors) test and has seven questions. No single question will disqualify the worker from being classified as an unpaid intern. Instead, the employer may look at the answers as a whole.

The New Questions

The new questions overlap significantly with the old questions. The major element missing from the new test is a focus on whether the intern is providing tangible benefit to the employer. The old test indicated that the employer should receive little to no benefit from the services of an unpaid intern, with the exception of goodwill and a qualified future applicant. The new test doesn’t ask if the employer is receiving a benefit.

In place of questions about whether the employer receives any benefits, the new test places more emphasis on the internship being academically focused. Only one of six questions in the old test asked about the training and educational aspects of the job, whereas four of seven do in the new test. Employers are free to look at factors outside of these seven, but should be careful about stretching to find new questions if these seven lead to an answer of “paid employee.”

Under the primary beneficiary test, employers should consider the following:

  1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee.
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

 

Questions?

Payroll Experts 
7500 North Dobson Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Phone: 877.536.1907
Email: amatak@payrollexperts.com
Visit us online

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 The HR Support Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Workplace Discrimination Ruling May Mean for You

Most employers have heard of the classes that are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. But many employers aren’t aware that there are other federal and state laws that create protected classes, and that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and courts around the nation have the power to expand the definitions of these classes.

For instance, in a landmark ruling last month, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited under the Civil Rights Act because it falls under the definition of “sex.”

What the workplace discrimination ruling may mean for you

So, what does this mean for employers?

  • This ruling only affects Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, but it makes it more likely that courts across the country will start interpreting sex to include sexual orientation. It also makes it more likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case on the topic and establish nationwide law.
  • Illinois and Wisconsin already have state laws that create employment protections based on sexual orientation, so there are no new action items for employers in those states, unless of course they weren’t aware of those state laws.
  • Employers in Indiana should ensure that their policies and practices do not allow for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Interestingly, the EEOC has interpreted sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity for several years, hence our longstanding advice that employers treat those as protected classes.

Questions?

Payroll Experts 
7500 North Dobson Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Phone: 877.536.1907
Email: amatak@payrollexperts.com
Visit us online

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 The HR Support Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

HR Snapshot – Requiring Employees to Come in Early

Courtesy of HR Snapshot!

Question: If we require employees to come in 10 minutes early to prepare for the start of their shift, do we have to pay them for this extra time?

Answer from Kara, JD, SPHR:

 

Yes. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (and likely state law as well), you must pay employees for all hours worked. This includes the time they are required to be on your premises, even if they haven’t begun their “regular” duties. Preparing for work—if it must be done at work—will be considered part of the employee’s continuous workday.

You are certainly welcome to have an attendance and tardiness policy that requires employees to be at their assigned location and ready to work exactly when their shift begins, and to discipline them if they are not ready. But if you require employees to arrive earlier to ensure this happens, you’ve effectively extended their shift by that amount of time and will need to compensate them for it.

 

Kara practiced employment and bankruptcy law for five years before joining us, and was a Human Resources Generalist at an architecture and engineering firm for several years prior to that. As an attorney she worked on many wage and hour and discrimination claims in both state and federal court. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oregon State University and earned her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.

 

Questions?

Payroll Experts 
7500 North Dobson Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Phone: 877.536.1907
Email: amatak@payrollexperts.com
Visit us online

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 The HR Support Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

HR Snapshot – Tracking FMLA Leave

Courtesy of HR Snapshot!

Question: How do I track FMLA leave?

Answer from Sarah, PHR, SHRM-CP:

After determining that a leave is covered by FMLA, you should begin tracking time against the 12-week entitlement. You’ll track this time in whole-week increments if the need for leave is continuous. Each week missed will be counted as 1/12th of their total entitlement.

If the employee needs intermittent leave, or reduced hours, you’ll need to determine how many hours they are entitled to in total and record the time they miss on an hour-by-hour basis. To do so, you would take the number of hours that an employee regularly works in a week and multiply it by 12. For instance, if an employee is regularly scheduled to work 40 hours per week, their 12-week FMLA entitlement would be 480 hours (40 x 12 = 480). If they worked 30 hours per week, their 12-week FMLA entitlement would be 360 hours (30 x 12 = 360). If their hours fluctuate, you should go back twelve months from the start of their leave and calculate their weekly average, then multiply that number by 12.

If an employee is missing time on an intermittent basis that has not been established ahead of time (e.g. they occasionally suffer from migraines versus having a standing appointment for chemotherapy each Tuesday), make sure they know that they need to notify you when they are taking time off for an FMLA-qualifying reason. This is necessary so that you can track that time (a benefit to you) and treat it as protected (a benefit to the employee).

If an employee says that they need to miss more time than is indicated on their current doctor’s certification, you should request updated paperwork to cover additional time missed. Please note: even if you trust this employee, you might not trust the next, and you want to ensure you’re applying the same standards across the board to avoid claims of discrimination—particularly when a disability of some kind is already in play.

Sarah has extensive Human Resources experience in the legal, software, security and property preservation industries. She has a Business Communications degree from Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) and a master’s certificate in Human Resources Management and a Strategic Organizational Leadership certification from Villa Nova University. Sarah is also a member of the National Society of Human Resources Management and has managed the HR function for small startup companies to mid-sized/large organizations.

Questions?

Payroll Experts
7500 North Dobson Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Phone: 877.536.1907
Email: amatak@payrollexperts.com
Visit us online

How to Reduce Absenteeism

Taking time away from work is good for the health and morale of employees. When they can rest during an illness, recuperate after an injury, or tend to affairs in their personal lives, they’re better able to focus at work and engage in the tasks at hand. Too many absences, however, may be a sign of absenteeism which can be costly for employers and frustrating for other employees who have to pick up the slack.

Absenteeism occurs when employees skip work for no good reason. You may not be able to prevent the illnesses, injuries, or family emergencies that keep employees from coming to work, but you can and should do something about absenteeism. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take.

How to Reduce Absenteeism

The first step to reduce absenteeism is to make sure you have a clear attendance policy. This policy should state your expectations for attendance and the procedures for time-off requests—as well as the possible consequences for employees who violate the policy. Having and following a clearly written attendance policy makes it easier to hold people accountable to it.

The second step is to make sure you’re following all applicable leave laws. If your company is subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act, for example, you may be required to provide job-protected leave to an employee who needs a leave of absence to seek care for themselves or a family member. A number of states and municipalizes have sick leave laws that may guarantee employees a certain number of sick days per year. Make sure you give employees the option to take all the time off to which they’re legally entitled. You can certainly give employees more time off than what the law requires, and allowing for more expected absences may help reduce the number of unexpected ones. Just make sure you offer this leave in a non-discriminatory manner, consistent with your policy.

The third step is to use discipline for policy violations. If an employee has been missing work without a legitimate reason and in violation of your policy, you should discipline them. Depending on the severity of the absenteeism, you might start with an oral or written warning and then move up from there. Reoccurring absenteeism could be grounds for termination if you’ve given the employee fair warning and they haven’t improved.

The fourth step to reducing absenteeism is to create a workplace where people want to be. If absenteeism is widespread or higher than you find acceptable, assess the management styles and employee interactions in your workplace. Are people generally happy? Do they get along? Are there any issues of concern, such as bullying? Do employees have opportunities to get to know one another and form collaborative and supportive relationships? Do they feel supported and valued by management? You can stop attendance problems before they start by building a workplace where people are inspired to work hard, do well, and celebrate success.

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 The HR Support Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

FLSA Amended to Allow Tip Pooling if No Tip Credit is Taken

The rules around tip pooling have been mired in litigation since 2011, when regulations came into effect that forbid tip pooling between employees who customarily receive tips and those who do not. The recently passed federal budget bill has created clarity by amending the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and eliminating that rule for employers who do not take a tip credit. Since the rule has been eliminated entirely, court decisions interpreting it—such as Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, et al v. the U.S. Department of Labor—are irrelevant.

FLSA Amended to Allow Tip Pooling if No Tip Credit is Taken

The amended portion of the FLSA, while allowing for tip pooling between front and back of house employees if no tip credit is taken, clearly states that tips cannot be shared with managers or supervisors. To determine if someone is a manager or supervisor for the purpose of the tip pooling statute, employers should apply the White Collar Executive duties test below. An employee is only disallowed from sharing in tips if all of the following are true:

  1. Their primary duty is the management of an enterprise in which the person is employed or a customarily recognized department or subdivision; and
  2. They customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more full-time employees (or the equivalent, e.g., four 20-hour per week employees); and
  3. They have the authority to hire, fire, or promote other employees or effectively recommend similar actions.

Given the specificity of the test, a fair number of workers who operate in a supervisory capacity on an occasional basis, or while performing their own customer service tasks, will likely still be eligible to share in tips.

Employers who do take a tip credit are still prohibited from enforcing any tip pooling system that shares tips with employees who do not customarily receive tips.

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 The HR Support Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

Counting Employees Vital to ACA Compliance

Employers are reminded that it is important to know how many full-time employees they have in order to ensure compliance with the employer shared responsibility (“pay or play”) provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which apply to applicable large employers (ALEs).

Counting Employees Vital to ACA Compliance

Determining ALE Status
Whether an employer is considered an ALE for a particular calendar year depends on the size of its workforce during the preceding calendar year. For example, employers will use information about the size of their workforce during 2017 to determine if their company is an ALE for 2018. Employers with an average of at least 50 full-time employees in the preceding calendar year—including full-time equivalent employees—are generally deemed ALEs for the current calendar year.

Identifying Full-Time Employees
In general, for purposes of pay or play:

  • full-time employee is, for a calendar month, an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week. However, 130 hours of service in a calendar month is treated as the monthly equivalent of at least 30 hours of service per week.
  • full-time equivalent employee is a combination of employees, each of whom individually is not a full-time employee, but who, in combination, are equivalent to a full-time employee.

For additional rules on determining who is a full-time employee, including what counts as an hour of service, click here.

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved.

Best Practices for Preventing Workplace Harassment

A report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) highlights best practices for employers to prevent and respond to workplace harassment. According to the EEOC report, employers should:

Best Practices for Preventing Workplace Harassment

  • Foster an organizational culture in which harassment is not tolerated;
  • Adopt and maintain a comprehensive anti-harassment policy (which prohibits harassment based on any protected characteristic, and which includes social media considerations) and establish procedures consistent with the best practices outlined in the report;
  • Ensure that any such anti-harassment policy–especially details about how to complain of harassment and how to report observed harassment–is frequently communicated to employees in a variety of forms and methods;
  • Ensure that where harassment is found to have occurred, discipline is prompt and proportionate to the severity of the infraction. Discipline should be consistent and not give or create the appearance of undue favor to any particular employee; and
  • Dedicate sufficient resources to training middle-management and first-line supervisors on how to respond effectively to harassment that they observe, that is reported to them, or of which they have knowledge or information–even before such harassment reaches a legally-actionable level.

Click here to read the EEOC report in its entirety.

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved.

DOL Replaces Guidance on Employee Classification

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has withdrawn its 2014 guidance regarding the meaning and scope of the term “employment relationship” under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and replaced it with its guidance from 2008. As a result of this change, the DOL no longer advises that “most workers are employees.”

DOL Replaces Guidance on Employee Classification

Withdrawn 2014 Guidance
In 2014, the DOL issued guidance on how to determine whether an employment or independent contractor relationship exists for purposes of the federal FLSA. The guidance stated, among other things, “Applying the FLSA’s definition [of “employ”], workers who are economically dependent on the business of the employer, regardless of skill level, are considered to be employees, and most workers are employees.” Effective immediately, this guidance has been withdrawn.

2008 Guidance Once Again Effective
The 2014 guidance has been replaced by guidance from 2008. The 2008 guidance does not contain the statement that “most workers are employees.” However, this guidance does include the same “economic realities” test present in the 2014 guidance, under which determination of employee status is made by considering the following factors:

  • Whether the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business.
  • Whether the worker’s managerial skill affects the worker’s opportunities for profit or loss.
  • The worker’s relative investment compared to the employer’s investment.
  • Whether work performed requires special business skills, judgment, and initiative.
  • Whether the worker-employer relationship is permanent or indefinite.
  • The nature and degree of the employer’s control of the work.

For additional information on employers’ responsibilities under the FLSA, contact us today to learn how Payroll Experts can help!

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved.

New Form W-4 and Online Withholding Calculator Released

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released new versions of Form W-4 and its online withholding calculator to help taxpayers check their 2018 tax withholding following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017. The IRS urges taxpayers to use these tools to make sure they have the right amount of tax taken out of their paychecks.

Online Withholding Calculators Released

Among other things, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the standard deduction, removed personal exemptions, increased the child tax credit, limited or discontinued certain deductions, and changed the tax rates and brackets. If changes to withholding should be made as a result of these changes, the IRS withholding calculator gives employees the information they need to fill out a new Form W-4. Employees must submit the completed W-4 to their employers.

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved.

Top 5 Necessary New Hire Forms

An employee’s first day on the job can be very stressful for both the employee and employer. While trying to set up the new hire with his or her parking pass, email account, and other necessities, employers should also remember that completing the following forms is just as important.

Top 5 New Hire Forms

  1. Form I-9: Under federal law, employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Newly hired employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employmentClick here to download Form I-9.
  2. Federal Form W-4: An employee must complete federal Form W-4 for the employer to withhold the correct federal income tax from the employee’s pay. Click here to download federal Form W-4.
  3. State Form W-4: In states with a state income tax, an employee must complete a state Form W-4 (or its equivalent) in order for the employer to withhold the correct state income tax from the employee’s pay. To obtain a state Form W-4, contact your state’s taxation department.
  4. Basic Employment Information Sheet: Employers should keep certain basic information about each of their employees on file, including their address, phone number, and emergency contact. Click here to download a Basic Employment Information Sheet.
  5. Direct Deposit Authorization Form: It is now easier than ever for an employer to directly deposit an employee’s paycheck into his or her bank account. Such deposits, however, must be specifically authorized by the employee. Click here to download a Direct Deposit Authorization Form.

 

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved.

3 ACA Terms Large Employers Need to Know

In general, under the employer shared responsibility (“pay or play”) provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), applicable large employers—generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer minimum essential coverage that is affordable and provides minimum value to their full-time employees (and their dependents).

ACA Terms- Large Employer

Here are definitions to help employers understand these key terms:

Minimum Essential Coverage: Minimum essential coverage includes, among other things, coverage under an employer-based plan (including self-insured plans, retiree plans, and COBRA coverage). It does not include fixed indemnity, life insurance, dental, or vision coverage. Click here for more on what qualifies as minimum essential coverage.

Affordable Coverage: For purposes of pay or play, coverage is generally considered affordable for plan years beginning in 2018 if the employee’s required contribution for the lowest cost self-only health plan is 9.56% or less of his or her household income for the taxable year. Given that employers are unlikely to know an employee’s household income, for purposes of pay or play, they may use a number of safe harbors to determine affordability, including reliance on Form W-2 wages.

Minimum Value: An employer-sponsored plan provides minimum value if it covers at least 60% of the total allowed cost of benefits that are expected to be incurred under the plan, and provides substantial coverage of inpatient hospitalization and physician services.

The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.

Copyright © 2018 HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved.

2018 Federal Tax Withholding Guidance Released

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide, for use in 2018. This publication:

2018 Federal Tax Withholding Guidance Released

  • Details employers’ federal tax responsibilities;
  • Explains the federal requirements for withholding, depositing, reporting, paying, and correcting employment taxes;
  • Lists the forms employers must give to their employees, those that employees must give to the employer, and those that the employer must send to the IRS and Social Security Administration; and
  • Features the tax tables to calculate the taxes to withhold from each employee.

Publication Highlights
Highlights of the 2018 publication include the following:

  • Social Security and Medicare Tax for 2018. The Social Security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer. The Social Security wage base limit is $128,400. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer. There is no wage base limit for the Medicare tax.
  • 2018 Withholding Tables. The publication includes the 2018 Percentage Method Tables and Wage Bracket Tables for Income Tax Withholding.
  • Withholding Allowance. The 2018 amount for one withholding allowance on an annual basis is $4,150.

Click here to access the 2018 IRS Publication 15.

Reminder: Post OSHA Form 300A Starting Feb. 1

Employers subject to the record-keeping requirements of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act are reminded to post their 2017 OSHA Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, from February 1–April 30, 2018.

OSHA Form 300A lists the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during the previous year, and must be posted even if no work-related injuries or illnesses occurred during the year. It should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted so that employees are aware of the injuries and illnesses occurring in the workplace. In addition, a company executive must certify that he or she has examined the employer’s OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and that he or she reasonably believes—based on his or her knowledge of the process by which the information was recorded—that the OSHA Form 300A is correct and complete.

For more information on the OSHA Form 300A requirement, please click here.

What Employers Need to Know About ACA Reporting in 2018

Under the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers (ALEs)—generally those with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, in the preceding calendar year—must report certain information to their full-time employees and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about the health care coverage they have offered (if any).

With deadlines for 2017 reporting just a few weeks away, ALEs should begin thinking about these five information reporting facts:

  1. ALEs are required to furnish a Form 1095-C to each of their full-time employees by March 2, 2018.
  2. ALEs must file Forms 1095-C, accompanied by the transmittal Form 1094-Cwith the IRS no later than February 28, 2018 (or April 2, 2018, if filing electronically).
  3. Self-insured ALEs must also report via Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.
  4. ALEs that file 250 or more Forms 1095-C must file them electronically.
  5. ALEs can find a complete list of information reporting resources at the IRS’s Information Center for Applicable Large Employers.

IRS Releases New Income Tax Withholding Tables

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released IRS Notice 1036, Early Release Copies of the 2018 Percentage Method Tables for Income Tax Withholding. The notice updates the income tax withholding tables for 2018, reflecting changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Employers should begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than February 15, 2018. The new withholding tables are designed to work with the Forms W-4 that workers have already filed with their employers.

Click here to read IRS Notice 1036